By Amy Dombroski
I love cyclocross and even though a few months ago I couldn’t imagine putting my feet on the pedals and my butt on the saddle I am psyched to offer some CX clinics at Valmont Bike Park this summer. Here is a clinic report about how the first one went. More will be offered but until then read on for my take on what it takes to teach 18 women how to ride cross.
Thanks to my World Champ helper, Kristal Boni and Mister Paul CrossPropz for showing up to help. I'm not a morning person, and I know many people wouldn't classify 9 a.m. as the morning, but getting the thoughts churning and the words flowing took a while. I suppose the whole public speaking thing - or something as modest as speaking to 18 lycra-clad humans with their eyes all on me - is like all things in life, it's easier with practice. Once I awoke from my slumber and was able to begin jumping around I think it got better. Luckily I had Kristal at my side to assist and bring clarity. And thankfully I had Paul to pull the raffle tickets and read the numbers because you don't even want to get me started with numbers that early in the morning.
We began the clinic with the methods of riding on dirt and this was when I quickly realized the strong level of women. I contemplated handing the session over to Kristal and blending behind everyone else but then I realized I'd have to pay the $30 registration fee.
From there we progressed into cyclocross specific methods- the mounts & remounts, carries, hurdles etc. For this aspect I believe is where it’s convenient to have a ladies-only smaller group. There is not a right or a wrong way path to these skills. It’s all about finding what works for the rider in relation to their body size, bike size, equipment and comfort level. I can’t pick my bike up the same way a 6' tall guy can. And there are people smaller than I am who need other options. And with ladies I can say things like "use your birthin' hips" and "place your inner thigh like a slab of meat on the butcher block" and other things like that.
The raffle greased the wheels with gift certificates from Peak Sports, KneadEd and Pro Peloton. Sponsors really make the magic happen. Also thanks to Mosaic Cycles who brought classy etched pint glasses & T's as well as spare bikes. And to Chamois Butt'r for providing samples and raffle product, to Skratch Labs for keeping us hydrated, to Breeze Bars and to SRM training and Lazer for chic attire for the raffle. I am also very appreciative of Sandy North who was snapping photos all session long, for a grand total of 700 photos!
Come check out the next cross Session clinic. I can’t wait to share what I know and see what you’ve got!
Next cross Session: June 16
Where: Valmont Bike Park
Who: Co-ed All ages